By JENNIFER SMELTSER
That’s right, I said it: I am Super Mommy. Ask my children and they will tell you the same thing. You may consider that a bold statement to make, but I have no qualms about it because that is just what I am. There is no scale to measure my superness. Only my children can do the tallies and as far as they are concerned, I tilt the Richter scale knock it over and bury it. It has not always been that way, but I came to a point in my life where I realized that I only have one chance with each of my children at this mommy thing and I decided that I should do it to the best of my ability.
We are a homeschooling family and I am not only their mother, but their teacher, which means I spend a lot of time with my children. As a homeschooling mother, that does not make me a better or more super mother than one whose children attend school outside of the home, but plenty think I’d be a better mother just because I spend more time with my children. I wish it were that easy to make a case, but spending physical time with your children is not the same as spending engaged time, and the results also are not the same.
There was a point in my life where I just showed up as parent and went through the motions without being actually engaged in the experience I was having with my children. I spent time with them in the same room by sitting silently, preoccupied with my own agenda while they watched a movie. I would find a comfortable seat outside to sit while I watched them play and return my attention to a book I was reading or more quiet time in my own thoughts. Their requests for me to play a game with them or sometimes read a book to them was met with a not right now, or I'll be there in a minute, which ultimately became an hour or two later.
The results of my actions were later displayed when I started seeing my children playing together and only coming to me for something to eat or drink. They no longer asked me to play, assuming I would just give them the same responses I had given in the past. I know this because I asked them. I liked the idea of them being creative and finding things to entertain themselves and also playing together, but I did not like that they were doing it because they had grown tired of me not being their super mommy.
Disappointed in myself because of all of the mommy plans I had of spending time with my children days playing ball in the yard, all the books I wanted to read to them, all of the places I wanted to share with them and seeing that they were eager and ready for me to be with them in the moments, I took that opportunity to be the kind of mom both they and I wanted me to be and ran with it. And I am still running.
My children are a blast to hang out with, from the silly laughs we share to the all out Academy Award-winning drama that is sometimes funny and other times tiring. The memories we are making together are ours together of time spent together. Every once in a while my children still have to wait because sometimes I just can't drop what I am doing, but they are okay with that because they know that when I do finish, they are going to get that engaged mommy the best and all of me.
I am super mommy.
I am their super mommy.
Jennifer Smeltser is a wife, mother of three, and a freelance writer whose work has been featured in magazines, newspapers, and online publications. You can visit and read more about her at Milk & Honey Mommy, where she writes incessantly about her accidental love of cooking, her take on green living, her learning journey with her children, and the head-scratching happenings in her house.
Mom. NY Times bestselling author. Pop culture ninja. Unapologetic lover of shoes, bacon and babies. Nice with the verbs. Founder of the top black parenting website, MyBrownBaby.